Cutting-edge barkitecture: Eight ways to make your dog feel at home

Best in Class: Dog houses are passe. So indulge your pets with bowhouse design

A dog’s life: Zaha Hadid Design conceived the Cloud Kennel for a Bow Wow Haus fundraiser. Photograph: Drew Gardner

A dog’s life: Zaha Hadid Design conceived the Cloud Kennel for a Bow Wow Haus fundraiser. Photograph: Drew Gardner

 

1 The doghouse is a thing of the past, for our pampered pooches have colonised the human home, claiming its couches, beds, plushy rugs, toys and freshly filled water bowls. A bowhouse, you could call it. What modern pet would ever claim to prefer a cold, damp, Snoopy-style box when all this interior barkitecture is to hand – or paw, rather? In really haute dog circles, owners go as far as commissioning designers to custom build their pooch a kennel. Zaha Hadid Design, an offshoot of the late starchitect’s practice, conceived the Cloud Kennel (above) for the London-based Bow Wow Haus event, a fundraiser that took place last year for Blue Cross for Pets, where design practices were commissioned to create cool pet homes that were then auctioned off. This laser-cut plywood design was, its photographer Drew Gardner said, beautiful to watch the firm construct. zaha-hadid-design.com

Husos: pampered pooches can colonise the human home
Husos: pampered pooches can colonise the human home

2 This apartment belonging to a young Madrid-based doctor and his pet bulldog, Albóndiga, which means meatball in Spanish, has been reconfigured to factor in the city’s hot summers and how to keep both pet and owner cool during this season. Bulldogs have a tendency to overheat so in addition to opening up the space the firm Husos Arquitectos also designed a textured mat, made of cotton pads affixed to suction cups that the dog could rest on and that still allows air to flow under it. The cups can also be moved around the space depending on where Albondiga wants to bed down. husos.info

Michaelson Homes: an understairs sleep space for a small dog. Photograph: William Manning
Michaelson Homes: an understairs sleep space for a small dog. Photograph: William Manning

3 Smart Storage is a company that has completely reimagined the volume under the stairs with its large pull-out drawers that allow you to use every scrap of that triangular space but even its best designs struggle to come up with a creative solution to the lowest part of the volume at the stair’s welcome step level. Ohio-based Michaelson Homes has come up with this novel idea, a sleep space for a small dog. It commissioned Riverside Custom Cabinetry to execute the joinery and put a clover pattern mesh screen, the kind often used by radiator cabinet fabricators, and that you can buy it at most DIY shops or builder suppliers to allow air to circulate and the dog to see out. michaelsonhomes.com

Grzegorz Layer: redesigned an apartment for a couple and two dogs
Grzegorz Layer: redesigned an apartment for a couple and two dogs

4 Grzegorz Layer, an architect based in Katowice, west of Cracow, has a pair of whippets. The flat has been divided into two zones, both open plan. The kitchen and living room is considered one region and the second area comprises the bathroom, which has a separate wc to the wash and shower areas that are open to the bedroom, divided only by a glass wall. The area colour blocked in pink denotes the slumber quarters for the humans. In contrast, the dogs sleep in different locations depending on the season. In summer their beds are on the balcony to keep them cool and in winter when temperatures fall to minus four and five degrees they sleep on mats on the floor of the living room. grzegorz.layer.com.pl

Bunch Design: a hived-out space on the peninsula of a kitchen design
Bunch Design: a hived-out space on the peninsula of a kitchen design

5 If the kitchen is considered the heart of the home then this dog, Coco, is at the very epicentre of its family’s life for its bed has been hived out of a space on the peninsula of this kitchen design. It is part of a remodel by Los Angeles-based Bunch Design. The simple block construction has been set on two block plinths with leg room left underneath for those using the barstools. But it is the internal Snoopy-shaped space that Coco gets to call her own that really makes this simple idea stand out. bunchdesign.net

Murphy & Co Design: an airy home to bed down in, lulled by the thump of the spin and dry cycles of white goods
Murphy & Co Design: an airy home to bed down in, lulled by the thump of the spin and dry cycles of white goods

6 If you are considering building a utility room or simply remodeling an existing one then consider carving out some space for the family pet. The wash room of this modern build colonial-style farmhouse by Minnesota-based Murphy & Co Design includes an airy home for Fergus the dog to bed down in, perhaps lulled to sleep by the thump, thump, thump of the spin and dry cycles of its white goods. The black slate floor is also easy-to-clean but probably shows up far too many of its dog hairs. murphycodesign.com

Lost Creek Co: the tiled shower has a low front and a gooseneck showerhead. Photograph: Joshua Caldwell
Lost Creek Co: the tiled shower has a low front and a gooseneck showerhead. Photograph: Joshua Caldwell

7 Pet-grooming parlours have mushroomed to cope with our growing urban dog population. In fact it is not unusual to see an owner’s dog looking far more polished than the owner as the latter lets him or herself go in favour of keeping up his or her pooch’s appearance. This smartly tiled dog wash station by Colorado Springs Lost Creek Construction for its JT Ranch project is another utility room consideration. This tiled shower has a low front to allow the dog ease of access and a gooseneck showerhead to allow its owner to give it a head-to-tail wash and shampoo at home. lostcreekco.com

UK-based Ruff and Tumble stocks a wide selection of cotton throws, drying coats and dog mitts
UK-based Ruff and Tumble stocks a wide selection of cotton throws, drying coats and dog mitts

8 After the wash and shampoo you will need to dry the dog off. UK-based Ruff and Tumble stocks a wide selection of 100 per cent cotton drying coats and dog mitts that are also machine washable so you can towel-dry your dog and drop the linen directly in the wash. The same firm also sells throws from the same towelling material that come in sizes that will fit your pooch’s favourite seat whether it’s an armchair or a huge sofa. Prices range from €80 to €136, plus delivery, and the throws come in four colours: Flint, Mink, Driftwood or Brick Red. They also supply bed covers in the same colour range in three sizes for those owners who already spoil their pets enough to let them sleep on their beds. Prices for these are from about €23 to €34, plus delivery. ruffandtumbledogcoats.com

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